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Grayson was born with a tethered spinal cord and had surgery to de-tether when he was 5 months old. As a result (of the tethering and/or the surgery) he had nerve damage low on his spinal cord with resulted in a reduction of sensation and movement in his left foot. His foot was positioned incorrectly and although it never stopped him from being active, an ulcer developed pretty early on. It was often treated with antibiotics, braces, etc. and we even had a couple of Achilles lengthening procedures to try to help reposition, but ultimately, he had a dropped foot, and it was turned in such a way that his weight landed on the bones under his left big toe – which resulted in an open ulcer. As he grew, got heavier and continued soccer and other activities, the “hole” became worse. Even though he was not able to feel the ulcer and his left foot in general, he all of sudden did start to experience pain which was concerning. We finally got a referral to Dr. Sanders and we decided to take a more aggressive approach. He recommended foot reconstruction surgery however it was quickly determined he had a bone infection which we had to treat – before we could do the surgery.
What did your pain or other symptoms prevent you from doing?
In Grayson’s case, probably nothing, but I was always concerned that as he grew, got heavier and became more active, that he may end up doing permanent damage to his foot or that the infection may spread. I did not want him to lose his foot. I also believed that although he adjusted well, that he was compensating for his left foot in other ways which ultimately might also do more permanent damage.
Why did you choose Dr. Sanders and Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center?
We were referred to Dr. Sanders by Dr. Ludwig (of PSV) and although he was not a pediatric surgeon, we felt very comfortable with him.
What procedure/treatment did you have done?
Dr. Sanders performed a bone clean out and then the foot reconstruction. Both of these procedures required multiple weekly office visits, cast changes, etc.
How did you feel after your treatment?
Although it was quite a process, Grayson is doing fantastically today. He is back to soccer without any issue. His foot is in a great position and it is truly amazing what the surgery was able to do.
Do you have any advice for other patients?
Honestly, in retrospect, I feel like we should have taken a more aggressive approach (in terms of surgery) earlier on. I know that with him being young, and the fact that he was (and is) still growing, that it was not as clear of a decision, however it really was the right decision for Grayson.
Dr. Sanders, Constance and the entire staff at the office were AMAZING with Grayson. They were kind and patient, answered questions and provided amazing care.